Pittsburgh 2 – Cincinnati 0

W: Charlie Morton (8-5)
L: Dontrelle Willis (0-1)
S: Joel Hanrahan (27)
Post-Game Buzz
— The Pittsburgh Pirates (50-44) are back in first place after getting excellent pitching, shutting out the Cincinnati Reds (47-49) 2-0 on Monday night at PNC Park.
The Pirates are 6 games above .500 at 50-44 and are playing with a ton of confidence. Tonight was just a great team win and the Pirates are 6-1 against the Reds this season.
This is the latest the Pirates have been in first place since 1992.
— Charlie Morton (8-5, 3.62 ERA) earned his 8th win of the season, allowing 3 hits and 0 runs, giving the Pirates 5 gutsy innings, which the team had to be thrilled about due to the circumstances from mother nature.
There was a 55 minute delay prior to first pitch and an hour and 23 minute delay as play was called in the top of the first when major lightning came into the area, as Morton faced Miguel Cairo with a 1-2 count and the bases loaded w/2-outs.
Morton exited the game after the 5th and relievers Tony Watson, Daniel McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan combined for a no hitter over the final three innings of the game.
Watson gave the Pirates a strong 2 2/3 innings, allowing 0 hits and walking just one batter.
Joel Hanrahan pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, earning his 27th save of the season.
— Offensively, the Pirates had 6 hits in the game, scoring two runs in the 4th. Andrew McCutchen (0-3, 1 RBI) and Matt Diaz (0-2, 1 RBI) each had RBI’s in the 4th.
Neil Walker went 2-for-3 with 1 run scored, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Walker is batting .460 during his hitting streak and is just locked in right now.
Walker, Alex Presley (2-4) and Chase D’Arnaud (1-2, 1 R) went a combined 5-for-9 in the game.
Presley is batting .352 on the season.
d’Arnaud left the game in the 5th after sliding head first into third in the 4th inning on a Neil Walker single, bumping his head into Cairo’s knee. d’Arnaud left the game with “stiffness” in his neck.
d’Arnaud had a solid game going 1-for-2 at the plate and making a great defensive play in the first with 2-outs and the bases loaded. Presley and d’Arnaud continue to make things happen on the base pads.
Morton inning by inning Notes
Morton overall, allowed 3 hits, 0 runs, while striking out 3 and walking 2 in the win. He threw 87 pitches, 53 of them for strikes.
Morton had 15 first pitched stikes. 8 groundouts – 4 flyouts.
Morton has allowed 1 run in 23 innings pitched against the Reds this season, a span of 3 starts.
No. 4 hitter Brandon Phillips went 0-for-3 against Morton with 2 strikeouts.
1st inning Notes
– A 34 pitched inning for Morton who got out of the inning scoreless, which was extremely impressive due to the circumstances.
– Got Brandon Phillips with a strikeout w/runners at 2nd and 3rd.
– Morton, Pirates decided to intentially walk Bruce after pitching to him first. Loads bases with 2 outs.
Cairo batting .440 with runners in scoring position. Morton gets Cairo in an 0-2 hole…. McKenry could not hang on to a foul tip with a breaking ball down and away.
— Major flashes of lightning with a 1-2 count on Cairo, leads to an hour and 23 minute delay.
— Play resumes with Morton returning to the mound. Morton gets Cairo out on a grounder as D’Arnaud makes diving play and flips to Walker for an out at second. Pirates escape with scoreless inning.
— 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors
2nd Inning Notes
— A 20 pitch inning
— Morton got 2 quick outs on groundouts by Lewis, Hernandez
— Willis singled to center and Morton got behind leadoff hitter Stubbs who drew a walk with 3-2 count.
— With two on and two outs, Cozart chases a bad pitch and fouls out to Overbay.
— 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors
3rd inning Notes
— A 14 pitch, 1-2-3 inning for Morton
— Votto flys out to center to lead off inning.
— Gets Phillips for second time with a strikeout on 2-2 count this time with curve ball, not as big of a hook we saw in first two innings… more movement.
— Curveball began to show much more movement in the 3rd.
— Gets ahead to 0-2 count against Bruce, finishes off Bruce with 76 mph breaking ball for 3rd out of inning and second consecutive strikeout.
— Threw 68 pitches through three innings.
— 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors
4th inning Notes
— A 6 pitch inning for Morton
— Hits Cairo with pitch on first pitch of the inning. Cairo moves to second on sacrifice bunt by Lewis.
— Morton was strong in getting first pitch strikes, as Hernandez hits grounder
to third for second out of inning and Willis flies out to deep center for third out of inning.
— 74 pitches through four innings
— 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors
5th inning Notes
– A 13 pitch inning
— Stubbs leads off inning with first pitch ground out to short
— Cozart grounds out to third as Morton gets two quick outs in the inning.
— Votto singles to center, Morton closes out the inning, getting Phillips to fly out to right for final out of the inning.
— 13 pitch inning. 87 pitches after 5 innings
— 0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors
NL Standings
1. Pittsburgh (50-44)
2. St. Louis (50-45, .5 GB)
3. Milwaukee (51-46, .5 GB)
4. Cincinnati (47-49, 4 GB
5. Chicago Cubs (39-58, 12.5 GB
6. Houston Astros (31-60, 20 GB)
Quote of the night: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips on Pirates – “The Pirates, they’re a good team. They are for real, ” via Associated Press.